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Median Market Action Index Single Family Properties in Lowell, MA
Keep in mind that an MAI value close to “30″ probably means that the local market is balanced or neutral. So if the MAI for your local market is somewhere between 27-33, then it’s likely to be either a buyer’s market or seller’s market based on the individual street or home area that a particular property is in.
The housing data released this week revealed that the pace of improvement slowed a bit toward the end of the year, but also provided reasons to be optimistic heading into next year. November Existing Home Sales declined a little from October, and the total inventory of existing homes available for sale also dropped. According to the National Association of Realtors, there is a “pent-up demand” for housing, but tight supply conditions have constrained home purchases. Addressing this issue, home builders are ramping up their pace of construction. November Housing Starts surged 23% from October to the highest level since February 2008. Housing Starts were 30% higher than one year ago. Building Permits also increased in November. The December NAHB Home Builders confidence index jumped to the highest level since August.
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Chris Tryon ERA Key Realty ~ Lowell
Lowell Real Estate Update: Three trends for this week
Provided by Chris Tryon ERA Key Realty ~ Lowell
There are three things I want to mention this week. First, the FHA released their loan limits for 2014, and they’ve dropped across the board. In Middlesex County, I believe the impact will be minimal – limits dropped from the low $500K range to the high $400K range on single families. But most FHA buyers are lower than that. The more significant shift is in Worcester County and parts west, where loan limits dropped from the high $300s to the high $200s. There are many FHA buyers in that price range, and it will have an impact on the market. If you are a buyer in an FHA loan,update your preapproval to make sure that your qualification amount wasn’t affected. To see the limits for all property types, see here and use “CY2014” on the Loan Limit box: https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm
Next, be aware that rates have ticked back slightly from their recent runup. It’s not huge, but it’s enough that I got several calls from people watching rates yesterday – if there’s anyone out there wishing they’d refinanced while rates were low, this is a reasonable second bite at the apple.
And, finally, if you have been reluctant to buy …the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies recently released a paper on five financial reasons to buy a home now. It’s not earth shaking news (forced savings, tax benefit, hedge against inflation, pay yourself and not a landlord, and stable leveraged investment). But it is a nice, authoritative source, and I thought it was a great thing for first time buyers. You can find all 35 pages of the article here, complete with some nifty charts and graphs: http://jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/w13-1_belsky_0.pdf
ERA Key Realty ~ Lowell
Lowell Real Estate Market Update 12/16/ 2013
Lowell Real Estate Market Update provided by Chris Tryon of ERA Key Realty Lowell
Buyer activety is starting to pick up again, which is odd for this time of year and the snow storms over the past week. It’s a great opportunity for buyers looking to buy a home in Lowell with interest rates still at historical lows.
However they could be going up soon?
Fed May Taper Soon
Stronger than expected economic data and progress on a budget deal in Congress caused investors to move forward their expected timing for the Fed to begin to scale back its bond purchases. This hurt both stocks and bonds, and mortgage rates ended the week a little higher.
Fed officials have revealed several conditions which will help them determine when to reduce their bond purchases. Recent economic events and comments from Fed officials suggest that those conditions may have been met. The performance of the economy may be sufficient to make Fed officials comfortable reducing the level of monetary stimulus. A broad range of recent economic reports revealed gains in the labor market, GDP growth, Retail Sales, and manufacturing. In addition, Congress moved closer this week to reaching a two-year budget deal. The proposed deal would reduce the level of uncertainty about fiscal policy, which is another concern of Fed officials. As a result, investors expect the Fed to announce in the near future that it will begin to taper its bond purchases, and some think that it may take place as soon as next Wednesday’s Fed meeting.
Congressman Mel Watt was confirmed this week as Director of the FHFA. The FHFA is the conservator over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and as such has tremendous influence over much of the mortgage market. Director Watt takes over from Acting Director Edward DeMarco whose last act was to raise the fee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge borrowers to guarantee loans. Unless reversed by Watt, the fee increase will be effective beginning early next year and will result in an increase in most mortgage rates of about 0.10%
Busy Week Ahead
The next Fed meeting will take place on Wednesday. The statement is scheduled to be released at 2:00 et, and a press conference will take place at 2:30 et. Whatever indications Fed officials reveal about the timing of the taper likely will produce a significant reaction. The most closely watched economic data next week will be the inflation indicators and the housing market reports. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), an influential monthly inflation report, will come out on Tuesday. Housing Starts will be released on Wednesday, and Existing Home Sales will come out on Thursday. Industrial Production, Philly Fed, GDP revisions, Empire State, and Productivity will round out a busy week.
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Courtesey of Chris Tryon ERA Key Realty – Lowell
Buying Your First Home: Video Guide
Buying your first home is a huge decision and the process may seem daunting.
Check out the video below that explains the steps to navigating the buying process with ease from choosing and working with a professional real estate agent to reviewing your finances, calculating costs, making an offer and closing the deal.
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Provided by Chris Tryon ERA Key ~ Lowell